COMMUNITY volunteering charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) have started work at Earby Youth Hostel Association.

The hostel, on Birch Hall Lane, is currently closed due to major renovation work, a significant part of which will be completed by Leeds-based TCV Hollybush, who run local community projects across West Yorkshire.

Volunteers and staff from the charity are helping the youth hostel develop its woodland and wildlife garden by providing access to and repairing footpaths, planting mixed native hedgerows, building a green-roofed shelter and improving the children’s area.

The hostel will re-open as an independent hostel and Friends of Nature House.

Friends of Nature is one of Europe’s oldest environmental groups, hence the focus on environmental improvement and conservation.

Earby Youth Hostel volunteers say it is an ideal stop for Pennine Way walkers, as a base for local day hikes and for cyclists and those interested in the countryside and local heritage.

Once TCV Hollybush’s work in the woodland and garden is finished, on-site facilities will be enhanced with a wildlife-rich area for visitors to enjoy.

TCV project officer Mike Bird, said: “This is the first time we’ve undertaken any work at this site. It’s great to work with the team at the youth hostel to help them achieve their vision for the woodland and wildlife area.

“We have a hardworking team of volunteers who are getting stuck into tasks like mending fences, planting wild flowers and building a willow dome.

“The improvements will be a great addition to the existing site for visitors of all ages.”

The conservation work is part of a Earby Town Council restoration project which will return the woodland and wildlife garden to its former glory as a resource for walkers and tourists and will provide an important boost to local wildlife.

TCV staff and volunteers began work at the end of August and the project will continue over the next two months.

To volunteer for the project, contact or visit